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Parent Email–May 9, 2014

Office for Student Affairs

May 9, 2014

Inside This Issue

  • Message from the President
  • Finals Week
  • End-of-Semester PAWS Event
  • Health Care During the Summer
  • Summer U-Pass
  • Spring Semester Grades
  • Parents Weekend Update
  • Join CFANS Global Learning Adventure
  • Heating to Cooling Changeover
  • Miscellaneous

As students finish the last week of classes and begin finals next week, some of them have mixed feelings about leaving campus and their friends for the summer. In the case of seniors, the emotions are even stronger as they face leaving campus for the real world. For parents of first-year students, we offer some thoughts on students coming "Home for the Summer." If your graduating senior will be moving back home for a while, see our research information on "Boomerang Families."

Message from the President

Dear Parents,
I congratulate you — and your student, of course! — on completing another successful semester at the U. Karen and I were parents of college students not too many years ago, and we always took another deep breath and shared an embrace when the school year ended, knowing our sons had reached one more milepost along their way. For those of you whose student is graduating, my heartiest congratulations. That is a significant achievement for her or him, and for you, too! For those of you whose students will be back on campus, we look forward to their return. You should know that we have continued to freeze tuition for Minnesota resident undergrads and reduced administrative costs, although there will be an  increase in tuition for our out-of-state students in keeping with a strategic budgetary decision and in line with our peers.

I wish you and your students a safe and productive summer season, and thank you again for sharing your student with us, and putting your trust in the University of Minnesota.

Eric W. Kaler

Finals Week

Walter and Bio-Med libraries (on the East Bank of campus) and Wilson Library (West Bank) are open 24 hours a day, and the Magrath Library (St. Paul campus) has extended late night hours during finals week. Students who use the libraries late at night are reminded to call for a campus escort so they don't walk alone at night. Escort services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 612-624-WALK. The escort area covers all campuses and locations within a mile of campus.

End-of-Semester PAWS Event

In case students on the St. Paul campus have not been able to spend time with therapy animals this year, therapy dogs will be in Room 110 of the St. Paul Student Union on Tuesday, May 13, from noon to 2 p.m., just in time for calming the anxieties of final exams. Regular PAWS events are scheduled for May 14 and 21 at Boynton Health Center.

Health Care During the Summer

Students who were enrolled for spring semester and paid the Student Services Fee, and who have active health plan coverage, can receive care at Boynton Health Service through August 24, regardless of whether they are enrolled for summer classes. 

Summer U-Pass

Students enrolled for summer classes, as well as those who took classes during spring semester, can purchase a summer U-Pass (scroll to the bottom of that webpage). With the Light Rail opening soon, a U-Pass will be all the more fun.

Spring Semester Grades

Students' final grades are typically submitted by the instructor no later than three business days following the date of the scheduled final examination. Students can share their grades with parents through the One Stop website. Students with questions about a missing grade should contact their instructor. The University's grading policy is available online.

If students believe their grade is inaccurate or unfair, they should first contact the instructor to discuss their concerns. The Student Conduct Resolution Center is available to provide guidance and to assist students in formal grievance or disciplinary proceedings.

Parents Weekend Update

Until the the Minnesota Vikings' new football stadium is completed in fall of 2016, the Vikings will be playing home games in the University's TCF Stadium. The Vikings 2014 schedule was recently released, and a Vikings game will be played on campus on Sunday, September 28. As a result, formal programming for Parents Weekend will be scheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 26 and 27. Optional activities will be suggested for Sunday, September 28. Details and registration information for Parents Weekend will be available later this summer.

We understand that no weekend is perfect for all families to come to campus. Our 2014 U of M Parent Survey indicates that a third of our parents visit campus one or more times a month during the academic year. A wide range of arts, athletics, and family-friendly events and activities are always available on the U of M campus and in the Twin Cities, and you are encouraged to plan your visits by taking your family's and your student's schedule into account. The new light rail will make it easier for families to explore campus and the community together.

Out-of-town families planning to attend Parents Weekend September 26 and 27 are encouraged to book hotels early.

As part of the agreement to host Vikings games for two years, the Vikings are providing some updates to TCF Stadium, and several projects in neighborhoods surrounding campus received funding from the team.

Join CFANS Global Learning Adventure

Parents are invited to participate in a program offered by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences that gives participants a taste of a student learning abroad program. "Italian Food Culture and Sustainability" will take participants to the Italian Riviera, Tuscany, and Siena to learn about organic winemaking, traditional farming methods, and land management practices along spectacular views of the Mediterranean coast. The tour is scheduled for September 21-30, 2014. Registration is due by June 10.

Heating to Cooling Changeover

Each year around this time, we hear from Timothy Hoaglund in Housing & Residential Life, who asks us to pass along information on the transition from heating to cooling in the residential halls.

In most homes, he explains, the process of switching from heating to cooling is as simple as flipping a switch. In the Residence Halls (with the exception of the 17th Avenue Residence Hall), the process is more complex and requires much more time. The changeover includes filling cooling towers with water. Because freezing temperatures would cause complications to the switching process, the water must be added only when temperatures are consistently above freezing.  

During this transition, we have limited options for bringing cooling and heating into our buildings. When the outside temperatures reach more than 60 degrees during the day and nighttime temperatures drop to the low 40s, we anticipate that some areas may experience discomfort. We therefore ask for patience during this transition period and request that residents close their windows (including storm windows) tightly at night and that they use additional blankets and clothing as necessary.


If you want to try to catch a glimpse of graduates in their caps and gowns during the upcoming week, check the commencement calendar, then link to the Northrop Mall webcam before and after ceremonies. There's nothing like posing on the Mall for a graduation photo.

Please respond to the May Question of the Month!